Tulgren named AmeriCorps member of the year

Forest Lake native Chelsea was named AmeriCorps member of the year by her peers.

Forest Lake High School graduate Chelsey Tulgren finished her second term as an AmeriCorps member at Twin Cities nonprofit College Possible, helping 100 percent of her students earn admission to a four-year college.

Tulgren was named College Possible’s AmeriCorps Member of the Year by her peers. She served as the junior coach, and then the senior coach, at Como Park High School in St. Paul.

Tulgren graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in agricultural education, and then decided to serve at College Possible after graduating instead of seeking out a full-time teaching job.

“Serving with College Possible has been one of the most challenging but also one of the best experiences of my life,” Tulgren said. “I’m really happy I had this opportunity.”

During her first year at College Possible, Tulgren served as the junior coach at Como Park High School, helping 38 students raise their ACT scores by an average of more than 25 percent from their baseline.

Tulgren opted to return to College Possible for a second year as her students’ senior coach. “I couldn’t imagine not coming back,” she said. “I formed such close relationships with my students.”

In addition to helping all of her students earn admission to a four-year college, with Tulgren’s support her students submitted 271 scholarship applications, earning over $70,000 in private scholarships.

College Possible works to make college admission and success possible for low-income students in the Twin Cities by providing afterschool college access programming to 1,500 juniors and seniors at 19 public high schools. The organization also serves 3,100 college program participants as they work to earn their college degrees.

Tulgren plans to buy a one-way ticket to Cape Town and travel around Africa, including Kenya, where she taught English during a semester abroad in college. In the long term, she is contemplating getting a license to teach English as a second language.